This time when I went to India, my dad asked me to pick out any cassette tape I wanted from the tape collection we have at home. He told me that I was the only one in our immediate family circle who still owned any kind of tape player. Everyone else had long since moved on to CD and MP3 players and dad was trying to free up space by giving away our (once upon a time) big cassette collection.
Before you conclude that I belong to the Stone Age, let me explain. One of the cassette players I own is at home and is a part of the CD/radio/tape boom-box I bought in 2002. The other one is in my car. However, I usually use neither of them - preferring alternate music players at home and the radio in the car.
Until now. In India, taking up on dad's offer, I picked out a few of the branded usual suspects (old gems, nice movies etc). But mostly, the cassettes I chose were ones which were customized song compilations lovingly done by my sister and me during our school days and early days of undergrad.
Recently, I have been listening to these cassettes. Some of the songs are long forgotten ones which were extremely popular back them (I am a bachelor, anyone?). Some are songs which I love even now (O sanam - wow!).
Irrespective of their current favor level, each song reminds me of the time my sis and I watched various music channels and carefully noted down the names and movies of songs which seemed interesting. Then we would locate friends/relatives/acquaintances who had tapes of these songs. Finally, using our dual cassette deck, we would record the songs. When the mood struck us, we would even make colorful labels for the cassettes (an idea directly borrowed from dad). Voila - our own customized compilation was ready!
These cassettes would then find good use both at home and whenever we went on any journey by car (the ensuing arguments between us and our parents on the choice between new and old songs to play is a different topic :-D).
For the past two weeks I have been using my cassette player as my primary source of music at home as well as in the car. It is kind of strange to not be able to easily skip songs at will. However, it is rather nice to go back in time and brush away the cobwebs from my memory :-).
Amazing how something which was super common just a couple of years back is now so firmly entrenched in the realms of nostalgia!
p.s. Of course, I still make custom CDs and iPod playlists. But I no longer put in the kind of effort which went into making those cassettes!
Speaking of music, on Saturday, I went to the 2007 edition of the Indian Ocean concert. As in the previous year, the concert was wonderful. It went on for more than three hours but I still thought it was too short. The performance was mesmerizing, the audience response was fantastic and the general mood in the hall was upbeat. Midway through the concert it struck me as to how lucky the band members are. They are able to bring so much happiness and joy to so many people every time they perform :-). That must be an awesome feeling!
p.s. I know I have used way too many gushing adjectives in the previous paragraph. But I really think they deserve all of it. Here is the concert calendar for Indian Ocean. If you are able to, you should certainly try to catch a performance.
All ye Harry Potter fans: If you haven't already done so, go watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in the theatre. I think that is the best movie so far in the series :-).